The Power of Imagination

The fictional English detective Sherlock Holmes, who recently had a resurgence in popularity, is renowned for coldly rational and deductive thinking. Maria Konnikova explored his way of thinking in an excellent book, Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes.

For entertainment reading to take a break from theology and edge computing/Internet of Things, I’ve been “binge reading” the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories.

Twice in the first couple of stories I underlined sentences where Holmes told his companion Watson about the power of imagination.

Imagination is a great way to get yourself out of a rut. Maybe a rut of reading the same New Testament passages and getting nothing new.

Try exercising the imagination muscle to take yourself there, into the story. Imagine being the person Jesus was talking to. Imagine being a bystander. Imagine being an opponent who is greatly offended—sort of like a conservative hearing a liberal bash Trump. There—that got your imagination going, didn’t it?

Instead of trying to parse out a set of rules to follow from one of Paul’s letters, why not imagine being in the dark room with him as he is striving to describe a new way of life in the reality of a risen Messiah with a new way of living with God.

Instead of complaining about your church or group or company or neighborhood, imagine a better way and ask, “Why not?” Then begin taking steps to change.

Einstein often talked of the power of imagination and curiosity. From that came ideas that explained the motion of stars and planet that help land people on the moon and send satellites to distant worlds to explore their mysteries.

We exercise our biceps; why don’t we exercise our imagination? Take out a sheet of paper or a journal and write 20 different ways to tackle a problem. You will begin imagining many different solutions to explore.

2 Responses to “The Power of Imagination”

  1. josephruizjr Says:

    Thank you for the book recommendation Gary. I teach creativity at a local university and love this kind of insight and your posts to go along with it. Grace and peace.

    • Gary Mintchell Says:

      You’re welcome. But I was thinking…how did you manage to get a course on teaching creativity approved by a department head or president? Some people believe that creativity is a character trait that either one is born with or not. Or perhaps I’m reflecting my own bad experience in grad school? But I jest. Thanks for what you do. I’m sure it has changed many lives for the better. Reminds me of Henrik Ibsen’s concept of Truth—a creative response to life.

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